Mortillery – Shapeshifter

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Canada has delivered some of the greats in thrash metal like Annihilator, Voivod and Slaughter throughout the past decades. Now if we can believe Napalm Records, Mortillery is up next and they are geared up, charged and ready to attack with speedy heavy metal madness! For me the band is a completely new discovery and after seeing the album cover of their third release Shapeshifter, I had the feeling that I was in for some old school thrash/speed/heavy metal. Let’s see how ferocious they can be in Canada, eh.

With opener Radiation Sickness, an uppercut that’ll blow you out of your socks explodes in your face. This sounds like one damn mean and filthy outfit! After a great guitar intro the heavy thrashy riffs kick in combined with a high pitched scream that reminds me of the glory days of Rob Halford (Judas Priest) and even fellow Canadian Cam Pipes (ex-3 Inches Of Blood). But that’s not the end of the reach of this voice, a moment later I get surprised with screams that’ll rattle your teeth. It’s like the clean vocals and the harsh vocals of 3 Inches Blood finally have found one person to live in, really impressive! What I didn’t expect at all was that these set of lungs belong to someone called Cara McCutchen. Being already convinced, discovering that the vocals are done by a female singer just struck me with awe.

Overall, the two girls and three guys of Mortillery handle a raw, energetic and face melting sound that is reminiscent of the best that the Bay Area brought us (like Death Angel) with a touch of punk. But where most thrash bands go for fast and faster, Mortillery never loses sight of a healthy dose of melody. I probably could go on for quite awhile trying to pick every song apart and dig up the influences by some of the greats of the eighties and some of the more underground thrash bands. But you just have to experience the nuclear powerhouse that is Mortillery yourself. One song I still wanted to mention is closer and title track Shapeshifter. Here Cara displays after all the highly destructive sounding screams and clothes-shredding wails that she has a wonderful clean voice as well. The track brings an even more balanced blend of melody and aggression to the surface than ever before.

This is very simple: if you’re a thrash fan and you don’t know Mortillery yet, check them out. You’ll get a kick out of the old school eighties Bay Area feel with the modern and melodic touch. But I can go further than that: if you’re a heavy metal fan overall, give these Canadians a chance. I’m pretty sure that with Shapeshifter their fan base is going to grow extensively! 8,5/10 for this highly energetic and furious piece of thrash.

Release date: May 27th, 2016
Label: Napalm Records
1. Radiation Sickness
2. Age of Stone
3. Bullet
4. Mantis
5. Black Friday
6. Wendigo
7. At The Gates
8. Torture
9. Shapeshifter